“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3:17 (NIV)
Not too long ago, I stood at the sink, trying to ease the stabbing feeling of stress. I had so much pulling at me. I whispered, God, I just feel worn out.
I found myself rushing my loved ones in conversation. Rushing to the next thing and then the next. Rushing to schedule things and then rushing my people through those things.
I had set my life to the rhythm of rush.
Exhaustion gnawed deep places in my heart, demanding me to slow down. But how? I’d made my decisions, and now my decisions had made me. Me — this shell of a woman caught in the rush of endless demands.
Have you ever felt this same way? I suspect most of us have.
I'm starting to realize two of the most powerful words I can say are “yes” and “no.” How I use them determines how I set my schedule. How I set my schedule determines how I live my life. How I live my life determines how I spend my soul.
When I think about my decisions in light of spending my soul, it gives gravity to choosing more wisely. Each and every thing I say “yes” to sets the pace of my life.
After all, when a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she'll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul — a soul with a full calendar but no time to really engage in life.
If you’ve found yourself caught in a stressful pace recently, I understand. I think so much of why my schedule gets overloaded is because I’m afraid of missing out or not measuring up.
One quick look at social media, and it feels like everyone else is able to live at a breakneck pace with a smile. Their business pursuits seem more important than mine do. Their homes are cleaner. Their kids always get along. And they even have time to invite dinner guests over to eat food from their gardens. Huh?
That’s why it’s interesting to me to look at the timing of God’s words to Jesus in Matthew 3:17, during Jesus’ baptism at the outset of His ministry: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
At that point, Jesus hadn’t yet performed miracles, led the masses or gone to the cross. Yet God was pleased with Jesus before all of those accomplishments.
His Father was affirming Jesus’ identity before He started His activities. Jesus heard God, believed God and remained unrushed. If we trust in Christ, God also gives us a new identity (Romans 6:4). But unlike Christ, we forget.
We fill our days and our lives with so much activity that the only way to keep up with it all is to rush. And I’m discovering that the source of much of the stress in my life is this constant need to keep up. But what if I'm chasing the wrong desire?
Do I really want my life to look more like others'? Or to look more like God’s best for me?
God’s best for me means engaging with my life and the people in it. God’s best for me means noticing divine invitations and feeling the freedom to say “yes” — a best yes to the Lord’s assignments.
If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule so God has room to overwhelm my soul.
Today, you and I must stand moment by moment in the reality of our identity before we resume our activity. Let’s grasp this truth and rub it in deep: We are God's daughters, whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased.
Well pleased because of who we are in Christ, not because of what we do. Well pleased because of an unfathomable, unconditional love that's not earned but simply given.
Dear Lord, unrush me as I set my schedule today. I want to step out of the rush so I can embrace Your best for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
To the woman who is constantly pouring out: We've created a day where all you have to do is show up and be filled. Join us for Reset: A Saturday To Tend to Your Soul at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, on October 7, 2023. Gain a perspective change that will revive your soul so you can continue to fall more in love with God and experience His love for you daily. Grab your spot now!
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 46:10, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’” (NIV).
Why is it challenging for you to be still at times? As you consider how to live unrushed, how are you encouraged by knowing that God is already well pleased with you because of Christ? Share with us in the comments!
© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
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